What a wonderful National Convention we had in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.   I think it  ranked  in the top five Flemish Giant Shows ever.   We had perhaps one of the biggest National Convention entries with 479 total with 78 exhibiters (This includes the Open and Youth).   404 Flemish Giants were shown in the Open with 58 exhibiters and were sorted by Joey Shults, and Michael Franke.   The show started at 8:30 am, and finished at 9:30 pm that evening.   Both Judges did and outstanding job for our members.    In the Youth we had 75 Flemish Shown by 20 exhibiters and sorted by Tonna Thomas who is one of the best judges in the ARBA….( I loved her smile when I told her that I heard she was a better Judge than Tex)   What a great day this was for everyone.   78 Exhibiters at one show is a real mark that shows our club is healthy and doing fine.    Our Flemish Members are Awesome.  (The Eastern States members were in full force making this convention a Great one.  Thanks to all of you and we loved the fellowship during the week.  Great Group)  

Some of us never realize the work that is put in to make these shows special for you and our members.   A Giant Thank you to John and Barb Trone, PA,  for obtaining our Hotel and Banquet Facilities.    John and Barb are special friends and they are outstanding members of the Federation.  We had over 100 members at our Banquet, and I think that is the biggest one that I know of to date.  John Trone is a long term board member who is a great Representative of the Federation.  Their work at the local and National level is commendable .    

I had to start a new paragraph to Thank, “Anne and Reg Murdock” for all the hard work that went into making this one of the best Conventions I have ever attended….    Members like these are hard to come by and are appreciated by our Federation.   Anne was the booth chairperson, wrote at the table, got special awards for our members, and worked award presentation, and assisted the Auction….   (And her rabbit got a 6th place).    Our Federation Booth was the best that we ever have seen to date.  Our booth and awards were the best, and at the banquet it took about 6 tables to hold all the awards.    Additionally, Anne helped our great member Larry Rishell with the Auction that got our Federation 2800 dollars.   She also helped pass out all the awards.   She has been relentless in years in serving our membership and working without being asked…. It speaks for itself that Anne and Reg were inducted into the Federation Honor Roll.  (Our Federation Booth took in more money than ever at any time in the history of our Organization ).    

A special thanks to all that worked on our booth and at our booth at the Convention.   It was obvious to all that we had the very best booth at this Convention.   Thanks to Anne Murdock for being booth Chairperson.   Jim Fleming, Ga deserves a Giant Thank you for all the professional banners that he made for the Federation Booth.  They were better than outstanding and I personally want to thank Jim for his help that he has given us every year, and the money that these banners have drawn at our Banquet Auction.     Thanks to all the girls that worked at the Federation Booth,  Anne Murdock, Barb Trone, Fern Zappia, Kathy Bomia, and Hazel Langley to mention a few.  (Those that have not donated any time to this booth please try to spend at least one hour working for the Federation at Future Conventions).  Anne your booth was the best, and it was unfortunate that the people putting on the Convention missed our booth in placement.  (It was poorly handled in my opinion).  

At the Banquet our Auction brought in near 2800 dollars… Thanks to Larry Rishel for doing and outstanding job as auctioneer and Anne Murdock his assistant.   Thanks to all those that donated to the auction.   Reg Murdock’s Indian Necklace brought in near $400 and thanks to Doc Dan Hall for the purchase.  The banners brought in lots of bucks as well as the big Flemish Giant permanent posters.   Larry Rishel bought one of the posters for over $300.   I was very pleased to have purchased two of Jim Flemings professional banners, and the Buckeye basket donated by my Buckeye buddy Amanda.  Gene Gubala spent near $500 .   Thanks to all that contributed to the Financial well being of the Federation.   Our total income from the Convention was the most financially  successful ever.   

The 3rd and 4th Presidents awards were presented by Robert Bomia to Jack and Hazel Langley, TX, and Anne and Reg Murdock, N.J... .   These awards go to those members that have helped the Federation the most over the years and recognized by the President.   Only 4 have been awarded in 13 years with the other two going to Bob Bolyard, and Karen Clouse.   Thank you for all you do for the Federation and its members.  Personally, I love the workers… You are awesome.  

Inducted into the Federation Honor Roll were Anne and Reg Murdock, NJ, and presented by Honor Roll Committee  Chairperson, Jack Langley.     I have never seen Anne so excited and happy… Anne and Reg deserve this award.  For those that do not know Anne and Reg,  Help set up and tear down every Convention.   Their contributions are greatly appreciated.  (You are special and congratulations again on being selected to  receive the  Federations Top Award).  

Inducted into the Federation Master Breeders were Cathy Caracciolo, NY, and Victor Bloom, Michigan.  Both were presented by Doc Dan Hall, Master Breeder Committee Chairperson.  Congratulation on both of these fine members to their contributions to the Promotion of Flemish Giant Rabbits.   Cathy has worked to improve the Blue Flemish Giants and has done an outstanding job.   Victor Bloom has raised over 11 barns of Flemish Giants and has helped promote the Flemish Giants in both the Open and Youth.    He is a wonderful person and a great promoter of the breed.   Both are very deserving of this top award from the Federation.  

Wow, 479 Flemish Giant rabbits shown by 78 breeders.   Congratulations to Carlo and Fern Zappia, NY, for Best of Breed with Intermediate Fawn Doe, and Best Opp Breed to Bruce Johnson, Wis . With a fine Sr. Fawn Buck.  Good job on your accomplishments to Carlo, and Bruce.    In the Youth, Lisa Quinn won Best of Breed with a Sr. Sandy Doe, and Best opp Breed went to Kaylie/Clayton Krueger/ Schwendimann with a Fawn Sr. Buck..   Congratulations to all the Youth members on the great showing, and your hard work.   The Youth Recognition award was presented by Dawn Buuck, Ind to Elizabeth Barrett.   We are proud of you Elizabeth, keep up the good work.  

The Show went from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm, and that is a long time to write for the judges and judge…. Special thanks again to Joey and Michael, and Tonna for the outstanding job for our membership, and also to those writers, Kathy Rynard, Joanne Walker, Valerie Delair, and Anne Murdock.   Also thanks to all that carried rabbits.  I got tired watching them, and I know they had a long day.  

A note of interest  Jack and Hazel Langley donated $100 to start Youth Scholarship fund.    For our 100th Anniversary Show in Columbus, Ohio in 2015 we have the following either already donated or promise to donate to the show:  John and Barb Trone $100,  Jack and Hazel Langley $100.   Gene Gubala, Pa, has pledged $1000 for Best of Breed, and $500 for Best Blue.   Anyone wishing to donate money  to this 100th Anniversary Show please send to Wayne Bechdel, Sec/Trea.  .   (Let’s make this the biggest show ever in the spring of 2015).  

I enjoyed the trip to Harrisburg with my wonderful wife Kathy , and my Buckeye buddy Tom Sabrey.   The week was a total enjoyment with the show  with the Valley Gals (Kathy Rynard, and Joanne Walker), and visiting John and Barbs Home.  The Steak dinner was awesome also with our members.   Thanks to Wayne Bechdel , Breed Chairperson, and Chris Stover, Breed Supt. For all your work at the show.  Thanks to Deb,and Dan Brink and Stephen Trent and Bill Ferguson for the wonderful Fawns they blessed me with.   Also thanks to Stephen and Bill for their work at the Convention to set up and tear down.    It was good to see all at the show, and we look forward to seeing everyone in Texas next year.    It is apparent why many say that The Flemish Giant Federation is the Best Specialty Club in the ARBA.  

For the membership, Bob Bomia

President, NFFGRB



2013 ARBA National Convention ~ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Results & pics not yet received)